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Krejci/Chiarelli Press Conference Transcript

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRESS CONFERENCE

    Thursday, December 01, 2011    
    
BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI PRESS CONFERENCE AT 1 P.M.

Opening statements...
CHIARELLI: Thanks for coming this afternoon. We are pleased, very pleased to announce the signing of David Krejci to a 3-year extension. It's, I think it's already been reported but it's- contract value is $ 5.25 million a year for 3 years. David is a special player and he's also a special person. In today's hockey world, hockey economy, he might have been able to go somewhere else for more money and he might have been able to ask for more money but he didn't and I think we've seen this with a bunch of our players that we've been signing lately and it speaks to his willingness and his wanting to win, be part of a winning team and to help a team win. So that- I found that was pretty significant in this whole process. We ended up signing this contract yesterday afternoon in my hotel room so I'd like to think that we had a little bit to do with his great night last night so. But in -in looking at what David has done for the Bruins, a very important contributor and has really developed his two-way game. He's obviously a very good offensive player. We saw him shine in the playoffs last year. We saw what the loss of him meant to us the year before in the playoffs and he's done everything we've asked and more and he's a terrific offensive player so with that said, we're happy to have him on board for another three years and those are my comments for now.

KREJCI: Well I would like to thank Peter, the Jacobs family, my teammates and the coaching staff for making this deal happen and I want to say that I'm really happy that I'll be a Bruin for the next three years and you know, I love this city. I love the team; I love to play here, so I'm very happy for signing this deal.

On if, while negotiation, he took into consideration David's slow start this season and how much weight that had...
CHIARELLI: No. We actually- we started this whole thing in the summer so you have to look at the whole package with David and everyone has their little dips here and there and that was really of no concern to me. I mean, the whole team for that period of time, for the first ten games wasn't going so hot so you have to look at the bigger picture. So that had no bearing on it.

On if there was any uncertainty in his mind before signing and if that was affecting his game...
KREJCI: Well, I know that my agent and Peter talked, talked in the summer. I didn't really know what's going on but obviously it was on my mind a little bit and especially when the things weren't going my way at the beginning of the season and it got me thinking a lot. But then we get the deal done and I'm happy to be here four more years and now I can just focus on hockey.

On concerns that this might negatively affect their ability to get other deals done in the future...
CHIARELLI: Well I consider an important RFA. So one piece at a time. You know, when we make these decisions, as I said earlier, we look at the big picture so I haven't lost sight of the big picture and I would anticipate the players that we want to re-sign, that we're going to try and resign them but David's an important piece of this puzzle so that's how we look at that.

On how much a deal like this speaks to wanting to keep the team together...
CHIARELLI: Well certainly I didn't factor in the first ten games one way or the other into this decision making; that would be shortsighted. I've seen David since he's turned pro here and he's turned into a really good player so that's what we look at and he's still a very young player so that's what we look at and you know, the same way that in the first ten games that- and I had said that we were you know, we're looking at ways to improve the team. I won't stop looking at ways to improve the team and we won't stop trying to sign our important players. So it's just- it's part of the, kind of the day to day, month to month, year to year perspectives and I'll continue to use that approach.

On why he wanted to be in Boston and renew his contract rather than try to get more money elsewhere...
KREJCI: Well that's pretty simple I think. We won the Cup last year and I feel that this team can do it again and I want to be part of it. It was a really great experience and I hope that I'll win it one more time you know, so I feel like I have a really good chance here with this team and that was the biggest reason.

On the perceived 'log-jam' of the Bruins in the future with such a deep team and how this deal will affect the team...
CHIARELLI: Who perceives it to be a log-jam? The blogs?
You know, I feel a team gets built from the back end and down the middle and to have a strong middle is obviously an asset in my mind and David's part of that. David's shown that he can play different types of games, Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]'s shown that he can play different types of games, we've seen Chris Kelly now, Tyler [Seguin] can play center, he can play wing, we've got a lot of options here. Chris Kelly can play wing, we've got some good centers coming. So I - you know, I think a 'log-jam' is probably not the proper word- I think an 'excess of supply' and I'm happy to have it and the fact that these guys are compatible and they can play together and maybe not have the twenty-two, twenty-three minutes that you see some of the top centers play, I think that's a testament to them, to all of them as a group.

On if his perception of Seguin's future in the middle has changed given the occurrence of this deal and of Seguin's performance on the wing...
CHIARELLI: I really haven't made that determination. I mean, he's shown he's having success on the wing, he's played well in the middle and he's happy either where- either place so you know, I look at it as that if you can get a lot of good players together, you'll figure out a way to make them all fit.

On why he tends to sign players during the middle of the season while most teams do it in the off-season...
CHIARELLI: Well, I respectfully disagree that a lot of teams don't do deals during the year; I think you see a lot of deals in the year. It just- I just- you know, we start talking at a certain point in the off-season and sometimes you just can't get it done before the start, and that's not my M.O. to get it done before the start and I just kind of continued the negotiation, that's all. It's not really by design to get it done in the middle of the year, it’s just sometimes it happens that way, sometimes it doesn't. When I feel the need to start negotiating with a player, you know it may be that, it's different in a whole different set of circumstances. A player may come to me; I may go to the player. It's really not by design, it just happens to end that way.

On getting contracts done before players reach free agency, even if it means during the season…
CHIARELLI: You heard David say that it may have affected him a little bit and he’s not the only player that will say that. I know we’ve got other restricted and unrestricted free agents. I try and be fair and equitable in doing these things and sometimes other players may be left out by not having their deal done now and then having to wait. That’s a fine balance, that’s tough—I find that tough, because I know especially after you’ve won a Cup, you like your players even more. I don’t worry about the free agency that much. I feel that I don’t really need a deadline like that. If I do end up getting to that point, then we’ve got the tools to address it.

On being labeled by his contract and how he defines success and plans to live up to the contract…
KREJCI: I’m not really worried about that. I’m going to go out there and do my best and help the team to win. I know what I can do, people know what I can do, so I’m just going to stay away from reading good or bad things and just focus on my game—I think that’s the only thing I can control.

On how much he looks forward to becoming a more prominent leader now that he will be on the Bruins for a longer period of time…
KREJCI: I think I’m going to just do the same thing. Just go out there, play my best every night and try to lead by example on the ice and that’s basically all I can do.

On what he has enjoyed about being a Bruin that has made him want to stay…
KREJCI: Well it’s great to play in front of fans here. They can get pretty loud and they’re our 7th player on the ice--last year they showed it in the playoffs, it was outstanding. It was so much fun to play for them. They definitely helped us to win the Cup, that’s for sure.

On if he has a plan to get a certain amount of players re-signed this year (considering the CBA and cap-space)…
CHIARELLI: Yes, we do have a preliminary kind of framework we try and fit our roster under. That’s impacted by the uncertain future. So again, a balance I’m trying to find—in an ideal world you’d like to have everybody back and have everybody happy, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen—I’d like to try and make it happen, but we’ll see how the rest of the year unfolds and what happens with the CBA.

On the appeal of playing in Boston and how it has been advantageous for him…
CHIARELLI: The winning thing is big. I think David will say, and other players will say, that when they see that a team is committed - when an ownership is committed - to winning, to try and build a winning team, that it’s a fun work-place, so that’s big. It’s a tremendous sports town, a passionate fan-base and it’s a real nice city. So those are all things players look at when they choose a place to work and to live. At least those are my observations; those are two pretty huge things and I think that’s what’s helped us bring these players back. The winning thing and maybe taking a little bit less (money)—we all, myself included, make good money in this business and I think we see that time can be fleeting when it comes to winning and players recognize that. There’s probably always a team out there that will pay more, but I respect players that want to stay and want to win.

On the value of David Krejci’s game…
CHIARELLI: Well David is fast, big and strong, so let’s get that out there. David’s biggest asset is his head. He sees the ice so well, he makes plays, he uses the players around him, he’s very competitive and he’s got a very well-rounded game. I think his game is underrated by its two-way component. He’s got a lot of real good offensive skills and instincts, but I think the two-way component of the game—and I don’t want to harp on that, but it’s important when you want to win championships. I think he takes pride in that. When he first started his eyes were open wide to what he had to do to get that element to his game and he’s worked at it. The last time we signed him, I remember saying the same thing and he’s getting better at it. Now he’s a very good two-way player and he can be a dimensional offensive player. He plays big at big times, which is important, too. He’s got a real good clutch element to his game.

On if there are still areas he wants to improve on…
KREJCI: I think I’m still young and my game can grow in every situation. I can get better. I’ve got to get stronger, faster, get a better shot. Like I said, I’m just 25 and maybe my best years are still in front of me, so I won’t stop working. I’ll keep working on my game and try to get better every day.

On if there was a turning point that got him to where he is today…
KREJCI: It’s been many things. Once I started in Junior in Canada the coach was very hard on me and that helped me a lot. I got sent out to Providence, I had a good year down there and once I got called up they told me what they wanted me to work on and they didn’t give up on me, especially after my first game. They didn’t give up on me and I kept working hard to get there and here I am a few years later. I’m just grateful for the chance they gave me—I took it and now I’m here and I’m ready to win the next Cup.
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